tv The Cycle MSNBC December 5, 2013 12:00pm-1:01pm PST
>> gone to santa barbara for the weekend. i had just gotten back from iraq, wanted to get away from it all. next thing you know, i'm sitting next to paul walker. and the hackers. millions of facebook users, you are not going to like the news we have for you today. i'm krystal ball, and it is not just facebook. twitter, google, yahoo! you name it, are under attack. we'll give you a status update right now in "the cycle." it's 3:00 p.m. in new york, noon on the west coast. fast food workers are walking out in the height of the lunchtime rush. today workers are striking across the nation, more than 100 cities, demanding a higher federal minimum wage. currently these workers are paid $7.25 an hour. if you can find 40 hours a week to be considered full time, that's an annual income of only $15,000. the big companies can like
mcdonald's and burger king say their locations are mostly owned and operated by franchises, meaning corporate doesn't control worker pay. but that's not stopping employees from trying. >> hold the burgers and the fries. >> hold the burgers and the fries. >> make our wages super sized. >> make our wages super sized. >> we can't survive on $7.25. >> ain't no power like the power of the people because the power of the people don't stop. >> justice -- >> justice. >> nbc's katy tur is outside a wendy's in new york city. >> reporter: hey there, abby. the protest made its way to brooklyn where i'm standing now. it's been happening across the country in cities. over 100 cities are hoping for thousands of workers. there are about 100 here in this wendy's. they've completely blocked the entrance and shut down operations, not allowing anyone to go in or come out. we haven't seen any workers come out of the wendy's to join this protest. i know that's kind of the goal
here. so far we have not seen that. they've been chanting things like "we can't survive on $7.25," which is really the heart of the issue. they're saying the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour just isn't enough for them to live. they can't survive on it. they're asking for $15 an hour, calling that a real living wage. now, most of these workers, you might think they're teenagers. that's not the case. they're mostly women over the age of 28. in many cases, they have to work more than one job, two jobs to make ends meet to feed their families, get clothes for their families, to make sure their kids have shoes, and they have to do that because a lot of the time they're not getting full-time work at these companies. they're getting capped at 35 hours a week. that's why they can't even make the full-time minimum wage of $15,000 a year. now, fast food companies say this sort of raise in their wages just isn't going to work. $15 an hour is too much. they'll have to pass on the hike to the consumer in the cost of food. there are no hard numbers on this, but there are estimates
that say the price of a burger could go anywhere from $3 to $3.50. that really is the issue. how much is that going to be a big deal? labor economists say it's not really a big deal because if you give these people more money, they won't need social services, and the economy, the system will be paying less into social services as a whole. so 50 cents for a burger is really not that big of a deal. >> all right. nbc's katy tur, thank you for that report. i want to now bring in an associate professor of economics at umass. he also penned "the new york times" op-ed "the minimum we can do." he says, while we can set a wage floor using policy, should we, or leave it to the market. thanks so much for joining us. >> thanks for having me. >> so i wanted to start, one of the things i thought was interesting in your op-ed is you talk about the fact we used to have a variety of mechanisms for setting the wage. it wasn't just up to employers. some of those mechanisms have gone away over time.
explain that. >> yeah, for most of the post-world war ii era, wages in the u.s. were set using a combination of things like the minimum wage as well as collective bargaining, unions, who actually used to help set wages together with employers. that is not the case today. unions and the private sector have virtually disappeared in many parts of the country. that's what makes the fast food strike quite interesting. for the first timetime, really, have had people going out and striking and organizing in the service economy. that's a new development. >> right. and they're often doing it without that top down sort of labor union support we've seen. your work shows one reason why that might be. a chart that's pretty remarkable for people who may not follow this issue closely. it's not that the minimum wage is stagnant. it's that in real terms it is crashing from $10 back in the
'60s to essentially $7 now in real economic terms. that red line there is of course the poverty wage level that it's crashed below in the '80s and never recovered. one other thing i want to highlight that you can explain from your study is that when you compare where the minimum wage is higher and lower, we don't see a great difference in actual unemployment, which many proponents of the minimum wage say shows it doesn't actually cost jobs. 5.5% to 5.3% in those different areas. explain that for us. >> yeah, so one of the challenges when we try to study effects of policies given that we don't make these policies in labs and have randomized trials is to have a good control group. so what we did is to look at places that have an increase in minimum wage and compare those places right across the border, another county that's in a
different state that didn't see the same increase. we did that for a period of over 20 years and studied what the effect is on a host of outcomes. so as expected, we see sharp increases in earnings at the low end of the labor market for groups like teens as well as for fast food workers. at the same time, we find that workers tend to stick around their jobs a little longer, turnover falls. however, for the kind of minimum wages that we have actually seen in the u.s. the last couple of decades, we don't see any effect on jobs in sectors it like restaurants or retail or groups like teens. >> professor, one of the more outrageous aspects of this whole conversation, at least for me, is how the ceo-employee pay gap has grown astronomically. in the early '70s, the gap was about 30 times. now it's about 270 times.
the s.e.c. trying to do something about this, proposing a ceo pay ratio rule requiring large public companies just to disclose the ratio of pay of its ceos to the medium pay employees, not telling them what to pay them, but just saying, hey, you got to tell your shareholders what that differential is, perhaps thinking mate embarrassment in telling them will help bring some pressure to pull those salaries down a little bit. do you think that ceo to average employee gap is a part of this problem? >> i think the growth in inequality is a part of the problem. and that has taken on many different forms. one of those at the bottom, of course, is the falling real minimum wage. at the same time, we have seen increased profitability and increased growth in compensation to ceos and those in the financial sector. look, there's little consequence
to some of the people, the most well-compensated people at the top, to failure. it's heads they win, tails we lose. at the same time, that same logic doesn't apply to those in the middle and the bottom. so i think we need a host of different solutions or host of different approaches to really address an issue as complicated as inequality. i think the minimum wage certainly plays an important role when thinking about the bottom. >> aaron, there are obviously a number of layers to this conversation. a lot of issues that we're dealing with. one of which is education. you have more people going to college than ever before, which means more debt, but that doesn't necessarily mean better paying jobs. we're talking about $15 to $20 an hour. do you think raising the minimum wage would have an impact on the way we at least think about education? would more people be less likely to want to go to school if they're getting paid more without having to go? >> i don't think the minimum
wage has much of an impact on educational decision. i do think that college is still a good deal, but the reality is that inequality is growing even amongst those who actually go to college. the median college salary is not really keeping pace with the rest of the economy. so again, i think when thinking about the overall picture about inequality, we do need a number of different tools. i think the minimum wage plays one part of that but an important one. >> one of the arguments that corporations like mcdonald's and wendy's in particular like to make is, well, if we raise wages, then we're going to have to raise prices, and you guys don't want that and they throw out these numbers. we may have to rise the pras icf a burger by 50 cents or 60 cents. on the other hand, we tend not to think about the cost that we
as taxpayers pay subsidizing the fast food families who are working full time. half of them rely on some form of public assistance. so we're essentially subsidizing unsustainably low wages. >> yeah, i think eventually some of the cost of a higher minimum wage is through an increased price. i will agree with that. i think there are different ways of absorbing an increase in minimum wage costs. some of it's going to come as reduced profits. some of it will come as increased prices to customers. most people, by the way, are okay with paying a little more if that means making sure a livable wage for those at the bottom. and some of it will come through increased productivity gains. as i mentioned, turnover falls when minimum wage rises. that we can expect to have some positive productivity impact. but there are a number of different ways in which the minimum wage is absorbed.
and you're right. amongst other things, it entails less public assistance. >> aaron, thank you so much. we appreciate it. and up next, priorities, priorities. we'll get the temperature at the white house. hint, it's 65, but that's not what we mean. >> what do you mean, abby? life with crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis is a daily game of "what if's". what if my abdominal pain and cramps end our night before it even starts? what if i eat the wrong thing? what if? what if i suddenly have to go? what if? but what if the most important question is the one you're not asking? what if the underlying cause of your symptoms is damaging inflammation? for help getting the answers you need, talk to your doctor and visit crohnsandcolitisadvocates.com to connect with a patient advocate from abbvie for one-to-one support and education. okay, who helps you focus on your recovery? yo, yo, yo. aflac. wow.
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inequality. it's something that's been on the president's menu this week. >> this increasing inequality is most pronounced in our country. and it challenges the very essence of who we are as a people. the problem is that alongside increased inequality, we've seen diminished levels of upward mobility in recent years. >> now, if you want an idea of how important this issue is to the white house, that speech there by the president on tuesday was attended by four cabinet members and several democrats in congress. sources tell nbc this will be a large theme of the president's state of the union address next month. and according to "the new york times," the address was intended to echo, one, that the president delivered two years ago in kansas where he harkened back to roosevelt's call a century kaag a call for a new nationalism. peter alexander is on the north lawn for us. peter, we expect all this will also come up in president's town hall with chris matthews, which airs here tonight. >> yeah, they're going to speak
for much an our hour tonight, to air on "hardball." the president has been passionate about this issue of inequality and trying to create better upward mobility for those underprivileged americans. this has obviously been a central issue for this white house, for this president. in the words of this aide, they believe this is an intersection of a variety of moments right now with the pope's recent remarks, the fast food workers' protests taking place today around the country, all playing a role as the backdrop for what the president had to say on this very topic as well. now, the challenge is whether or not, in fact, anything will change here in washington. the press briefing wrapped up a short time ago. i asked press secretary jay carney about some letter that was sent by members of the congressional progressive caucus where representative keith ellison and others said basically they were pushing the president to provide or produce some sort of an executive order that basically would raise the minimum wage for those workers,
employees that were paid through federal contracts to private companies. jay carney basically said that the white house is convinced legislative means are the ways to accomplish change on these topics, and at this point it seems unlikely that at least when it comes to the minimum wage there is in the at least immediate future going to be any real change to that. >> thank you, peter. i think that's right. i want to bring in john ward, senior political recorder from "the huffington post," and pick up on that point, john. yeah, there are things the white housing try to do alone, but the president has long said what he wants is legislative action on minimum wage. in the state of the union, he talked about it. he embraced senator harkin's proposal, around the tune of $10 an hour. would make a big difference to a the lot of the working poor. i spoke to senator harkin's office today. they said they think they may get a vote on this in the senate. what do you think of that? >> i don't think it's going anywhere in the house this year
for sure. i think if there is sustained focus on this into next year by the white house and democrats, you could see some pressure on house republicans to do something on this next year. whether they do or not depends on a number of things, but i think it will take sustained focus. i don't think it's out of the question for some increase to happen next year. maybe not $10. maybe $8 or $9. maybe it would be $10, but it will take some time for sure. >> i agree with you. i think pressure is building. it's overwhelmingly popular in terms of public support. but i want to talk a little bit more about the president's speech from yesterday. peter was saying income inequality is a central theme of this presidency. let's listen to a little bit more of what the president said yesterday. >> they experience in a very personal way the relentless decades' long trend that i want to spend some time talking about today. and that is a dangerous and
growing inequality and lack of upward mobility that has jeopardized middle-class america's basic bargain that if you work hard, you have a chance to get ahead. i believe this is the defining challenge of our time. making sure our economy works for every working american. that's why i ran for president. >> you know, i do think that this is the issue that sort of most motivates this president. how do you think his time in office will be judged in terms of what he's done to alleviate inequality? >> you know, so far his presidency has not been great for lower income folks. but he has time now. you know, part of that is the fed has helped wall street while main street has continued to suffer. the obama care bill has helped big pharma and insurance
companies. and there hasn't been a lot of focus on closing looploopholes. i think this speech, if it does signal the beginning of a new, sustained focus for him, could be hopefully a turning point because we do need as a country moral leadership like the kind that the president could provide to focus on this problem, and it doesn't have to be a zero-sum game between left and right, democrat and republican. i have written a lot about how republicans have been terrible at even talking about the problem of poverty, but there are some voices out there talking about it. and if the president could kind of launch a national project and provide moral leadership for business, for republicans, for democrats, and bring people together, i think that could be a significant legacy of his presidency. >> yeah, and i'd put it a little differently. there's one study that shows lower income americans have benefitted under this administration than any in the last 30 years, largely because
of the stimulus and payroll tax credits. i think it depends on what part of the budgets you're looking at. >> you've written about that before. i want to turn a little bit to another economic policy imperative for the president, immigration reform. i've been wondering, are we going to be able to get immigration reform through the next term? actually, our loan luke russert asked john boehner just that. let's take a look. >> i've been committed to it. i'm stil committed to it. >> are you confident it will be done in 2014? >> i've learned not to make a lot of predictions. >> luke russert on the case. one of the things that gives me some hope is john boehner's hired a new policy adviser. normally you'd say, oh, he hired a new adviser, who cares? this person seems to matter in this conversation. rebecca talent comes from the bipartisan policy center's immigration task force. she was john mccain's chief of staff. she's worked on the hill in terms of immigration reform for a long time. she knows d.c.. she's a smart and sober voice,
which signals to me that maybe john boehner is getting a little bit more serious about immigration reform than he's been in the past. >> yeah, i mean, i kind of feel like john boehner has been fairly serious about it to this point. >> he could have brought a bill to the floor at any time, and he hasn't. >> yeah, i just feel like he's working with a house -- with a minority of his house majority who have made things very difficult, as i'm sure you guys have talked about a lot. >> it comes up sometimes. >> yeah, yeah. so i think he has kind of tried to figure out how to do this in this last year without being kicked out of the speakership. he may or may not retire after, you know, the current term. so maybe he does make a harder push, you know, going with violating the haster rule to do something like this. and i think there is also the
possibility that some of the right-wing folks in the conference are a little bit gun shy, you know, after the ted cruz shutdown gambit. there may be the atmosphere necessary for a bill, but i have to tell you, it still looks pretty difficult. >> right. sad times. but getting back to president obama, it's almost a full year, jon, into his re-election and you've been talking about how difficult his presidency has been, specifically over the past year. if you compare it to recent presidents before him, their approval rating at this very same time, president clinton and reagan both doing far better than president obama at this time. george w. bush was slightly lower at 37%. but this is the same president who it seemed could do no wrong when he was re-elected. ari often reminds me that in politics things can move very slow and they can also move very fast.
>> only ari knows that? oh. >> and former white house adviser spoke to this on this week last week wanting it to move quickly. let's take a listen. >> people trust this president. i think there's been numbers all over the place. i'm confident in a few months from now those trust numbers are going to come up. i think his approval number will come up. >> that's obviously what every democrat wants. jon, it seems like this is a year the administration is wanting to put behind them very quickly. >> yeah, i mean -- well, if we had this conversation two months ago, two and a half months ago t would have been a very different conversation probably about the last year. it's just this last two months that have been very difficult for them. you know, i think a lot of the dancing on the right about the problems with the website are probably, you know, shortsighted. i think obama care will -- is going to be around. i don't think it's going to be overturned or repealed or anything like that. it's going to be the law of the land. so republicans really need to
figure out, you know, how are they going to deal with that. i think as sort of things get worked out, as long as there are no more catastrophic problems, which is not out of the question, i mean, it could happen with price increases or people losing their insurance. i mean, that could happen. but as long as things go relatively normal, i don't see any kind of just bottoming out like you saw with bush. >> yeah, and there's a lot of cyclical aspects of that. jon ward, thank you for being here. >> thank you for having me, guys. >> you bet. up next, it turns out there was a lot more to paul walker than his charm and good looks. what we're learning about the heartthrob's heart of gold after his death. that's next. turn to roc® retinol correxion®. one week, fine lines appear to fade. one month, deep wrinkles look smoother. after one year, skin looks ageless. high performance skincare™ only from roc®. take skincare to the next level with new roc® multi correxion® 5 in 1, proven to hydrate dryness,
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all in ft. smith, arkansas. >> reporter: the freezing rain started here about 9:00 in the morning in ft. smith, arkansas, which is about three hours to the north of little rock, arkansas. since the freezing rain has started, we have just been seeing it gradually coat everything it touches. that's the way freezing rainstorms work. they're a slow process, but the fact that the freezing rain is going to last through the rest of today through the night tonight and into tomorrow morning, we are going to see major impacts on the power lines and the trees perhaps toppling into power lines. eventually the roads are going to become an issue as well. so far, so good on the roads. yesterday we ended up with temperatures in the 60s in this area. so the road surface is very warm. that's helped to melt away a lot of the initial freezing rain. soon the bridges and overpass, any of the hills will be an issue as this freezing rain continues. so we are going to see conditions deteriorate, not just here, but from areas like texas
all the way into southern illinois and even into indiana. this is actually stretching across almost a dozen states, including about 30 million people that will be affected by this storm as it continues through the night tonight and eventually starts to push eastward as we had into the weekend. it will weak an lot by the time it does that. abby? >> all right, dylan. thanks so much. that's what's happening right now. but what are the next 48 hours going to bring? answers now from weather channel meteorologist kila grogan at mission control in atlanta. >> oh, yes. we have a lot to talk about today. take a look at the radar now. dylan was just talking to you from where the icy conditions are now. they're going to move into dallas. in fact, dallas, american airlines a big hub there. they've already canceled over 500 flights. this is the problem. ice accumulation. yes, it can bring down power lines, but it also makes roads deadly. so we are looking in this area of purple all the way from dallas up to louisville,
kentucky. they could see more than a quarter inch of ice. some spots could get more than that. tonight this is where we're looking at snow in amarillo. oklahoma city, you're also looking out for icy conditions. tomorrow, that weather continues its press towards the east. again, all the way from texas right on up to southern indiana and illinois we'll be seeing -- and memphis, you'll be seeing the icy conditions as well. it's going to be a mess. there's no other way to put it. if we move a little further north, you can see indianapolis, you're going to be dealing with that icy weather, that wintry mix. again, tomorrow it slides over to cincinnati. the list just goes on of the places that are going to be dealing with this. then we get to the northeast as well. tomorrow they're going to see snow in syracuse. they're going to see the icy conditions in the middle of pennsylvania, new york state. as we get into friday night -- and think about it, people heading out maybe for their weekend on friday night. look at where this wintry mix is. all the way from pittsburgh up to boston. that includes a good portion of that i-95 corridor that could
get very dangerous very quickly. now, we take a look at the snowfall forecast. you can see here in springfield, missouri, 5 to 8 inches. that area in purple that cuts its way up just south of indianapolis. one to three on either side of that. by saturday morning, here comes the snow for scranton, looking at 3 to 5 inches, 1 to 3 in places like albany. this is going to go on for a while. we hope everyone is ready to stay put where you need to stay or be careful and take it easy. back to you. >> all right, the weather channel's kila grogan. thank you. we have an update on the crash that killed paul walker. his co-stars posted a tribute to him online last night. we're also learning that walker's beaming personality was no act. >> kristen and kyle met the actor a decade ago while shopping for a wedding ring. >> you could tell he had a demeanor about him. it was like almost anybody he
probably would meet would become his best friend. >> while kyle spoke to walker, kristen found the perfect ring, but it was too expensive, so they left the store. >> there was no way we could afford it. >> but then the store clerk called and invited them back. >> here's your ring, it was bought and paid for in full. just utter amazement and sheer gratitude. >> the couple assumed the anonymous buyer was walker, but it wasn't confirmed until this week after the actor's death. >> he just did a wonderful and generous thing. >> as we've reported, walker was on his way to a charity event on saturday when the car he was riding in crashed into a tree and burst into flames. his long-time friend roger rodas was also killed in that crash. nearly 2 million social media accounts have come under attack by hackers. this affects users of the facebook, twitter, google, and yahoo!. the hacking began back in october and might still be continuing to this day, abby. according to the cyber security blog trust wave, many of the users were overseas.
those affected have been notified. >> that's your news. now to the spin. there's a new study that claims to have scientifically proven what many have always assumed, that men and women's brains work differently. >> ross kissed me. >> no! >> oh, my god, oh, my god! >> oh, my god, oh my god. >> all right, we want to hear everything. >> monica, get the wine and unplug the phone. was it like a soft brush against your lips or like a, you know, i got to have you now kind of thing? >> well, at first it was really intense, you know. then, oh, god, and then we just sort of sunk into it. >> okay. so was he holding you? were his hands on your back? >> you know, actually they started out on my waist. then they slid up and were in my hair. >> oh. >> and then i kissed her.
>> tongue? >> yeah. >> cool. >> after studying nearly 1,000 brain scans, scientists at the university of pennsylvania were surprised to learn that old stereotypes seem to actually be true. the wiring of men's and women's brains is decidedly different, with the female brain being highly connected between the left and right sides. scientists theorize that may mean we are better at intuitive thinking and multitasking, duh. on the other hand, the male brain shows stronger connections between the front and back, which means they could have better perception. perception of exactly what? those results were inconclusive. >> oh, that was biased. >> well, i think there's a couple things with regard to this study that we should point out what the study says and what it doesn't say. it doesn't actually make those direct connections between these parts of the brain were lighting up and therefore this behavior happens. that's theorized, but that's not actually proven in the study. the other piece that's important to take note of is the fact that we don't know whether those
brains, you know, started off that way at birth and were inevitably going to end up wired in that way or what society's role could be in creating those differences between the sexes. i tend to be very leery of these kinds of studies because historically, studies on the difference between men and women's brains in particular have been used to justify sex discrimination. "the new york times" points out that in 1915, the neurologist dr. charles dana wrote in "the new york times" that because a woman's upper spinal cord is smaller than a man's, it affects women's efficiency in judicial authority and thus compromises their ability to vote. with these things, you have to take them with a little bit of a grain of salt. yes, men and women may be different, but it doesn't justify, you know, discriminating against women. it doesn't justify saying women just aren't good at math so they shouldn't do it.
>> such a weird correlation. >> i don't think you should ever say all men are good at this way and all women are this way. i don't think it's sexist to say men and women are different because we are. if you spent just a few minutes with the four of us, you'll recognize that very, very quickly. i found this study really interesting in terms of what we're able to do today. they used a special brain scanner technique which measured the flow of water along the nerve pathway. so for women, it went from left to right or right to left and for men it went from the front to the back, which could explain why men are better than women at things and vice versa. for example, men are better at reading a map, maybe better at certain sports, parallel parking. women have better memories, they're more intuitive. we're better at empathizing with people. reminded me of "homeland." what she's really good at is interrogation. she can really use her intuition to feel what other people are feeling. it's called gut instincts. women are good at that.
that's why i think there's something interesting to this study. >> i don't know. i'm usually uncomfortable with most of those sort of generalizations because they're used to bolster sexism, as krystal pointed out. there's considerable research in this field that these gender differences are more about cultural differences and internalized social expectations. a neurobiologist from france talks about at birth, 100 billion neurons are interconnected. the remaining are constructed progressively depending on the influence of the family, education, and culture. that's why we all have different brains. the quote goes on, but she's talking about neuroplas tis tty the way the brain is shaped during our lives. taxi drivers have larger spatial imaginations, not because they're born that way, but the brain is malleable. >> this study was credited by
some researchers as significant precisely because it took into account both youth, adolescent and adult brains. it was a rather large sample size, over 900. with a great range of age variation. and yet they found a lot of these differences hold up across those age groups. so that was, they said, significant. another interesting part of it was the discussion around the male processing. i think krystal makes an important point. what was proven in this study was the connection in the brain. it didn't have a behavior complex where you looked at what everyone does. for men, the way that they're wired, a lot of times, according to this study, as they perceive a problem, the part of the brain that's activated is the action point. that's interesting because there is -- >> not the emotional point. >> there is a cliche or belief that if you talk to a man about a problem, sometimes he'll say, what are we going to do about it, we have to find a solution. then sometimes women will say something else. i don't think it's fully explained by any single study,
but that idea that we are literally wired in our brain to go from problem to action, that stuck out to me. >> for me, it's funny. in my marriage a lot of those sorts of typical male/female things are reversed. i'm the one who doesn't want to talk about my feelings and my husband's like, let's talk. doesn't really ring true for me. all right. we asked our fans to weigh in on this. they overwhelmingly agree with abby that men and women have very different brains. jamie robertson says, yes, my husband and i are likin and yang, but i think that's why we work and have been together for 19 years. opposites attract. another fan adds, absolutely and thankfully so. like us on facebook to leave a comment. that's where you're also find a link to thecycle.msnbc.com poll. up next, everybody is calling it obama care these days, but it's far from this president's invention. straight ahead, a look at where we have come and where the universal health dream, at least
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just a tap away on the geico app. many presidents have dipped a toe into the political waters of universal health care and found those waters far too hot or maybe far too cold. teddy roosevelt proposed universal coverage in 1912 in a losing bid to become president again. his cousin fdr considered adding universal coverage to the new deal but feared it would sink the whole thing. lbj was able to enact medicare and medicaid. nixon seriously considered instituting an individual mandate, if you can believe it, but then was engulfed by the flames of watergate. we all know what happened with hillary care. obama care is an old political dream come to life, even if the implementation has so far been a bit nightmarish. enough metaphors for one lead. for a more concrete discussion,
we have robert field, a professor and practitioner of health care law and the author of a new book "mother of invention: how the government created free market." the book looks extraordinary interesting. why is it that so many presidents have risked so much to try to implement universal health care? >> well, it's a fascinating story how this has played out over 100 years. at first it was a call in the wild from teddy roosevelt. then franklin really wanted to pursue it, but it was so emotional. he couldn't get it passed. there were pushbacks. truman tried, there were push backs. finally lbj with a huge mandate was able to get medicare and medicaid. he thought this was the first step towards complete single payer universal coverage. that didn't come to pass.
but the issue --. richard nixon first entertained the idea of an individual mandate to get the private market . >> so we've seen both parties play into this. the other dynamic, though, that's fascinating is that democrats have picked up on this private sector approach that richard nixon started. >> robert, the approach we have is very unique, right? it's this public/private partnership. what are the costs and the benefits of that particular
approach? >> so what we have is almost two systems together. we've spent almost as much as most other industrial countries on our private sector health care and almost as much on our public sector health care. and therefore we spend about twice as much as most other countries. the benefits are we get more innovation. we get more money coming into the system. we get different private insurance plans that can try out innovation. we have different pharmaceutical companies that can try different approaches. the negative side, though, is mostly the cost and the fact that with this strong private sector that ironically the government itself created, they then exert pressure on the government to keep up the spigot of funding and make things even more expensive. >> the hardest part for any president is the initial sell. you have to convince people it's in their best interest. that's a really tough thing to do when the rollout doesn't go as planned. has any other big federal rollout like medicaid or like social security been as shaky as the obama care rollout? >> a lot of them have been very
shaky. not quite as shaky as the month of october on the website. but medicare itself, they had to reach millions of people, sign up millions of doctors, sign up thousands of hospitals and millions of seniors. a lot of the doctors didn't want to be part of it. the ama threatened to boycott at the time. a lot of people in rural areas didn't want any part of it. they pushed away the federal agents who came to see them. in 2006, the medicare prescription drug benefit also worked through a website. that was a disaster. it took months before it was up and running. so the magnitude of what we're seeing today is different, but qualitatively, this kind of messy rollout is par for the course. >> professor field, thank you so much. the book looks really interesting. good luck with that. up next, abby's road takes us on a trip into the past when she likely didn't know about our favorite holiday tradition around here. [ male announcer ] this is jim,
a man who doesn't stand still. but jim has afib, atrial fibrillation -- an irregular heartbeat, not caused by a heart valve problem. that puts jim at a greater risk of stroke. for years, jim's medicine tied him to a monthly trip to the clinic to get his blood tested. but now, with once-a-day xarelto®, jim's on the move. jim's doctor recommended xarelto®. like warfarin, xarelto® is proven effective to reduce afib-related stroke risk. but xarelto® is the first and only once-a-day prescription blood thinner for patients with afib not caused by a heart valve problem. that doesn't require routine blood monitoring. so jim's not tied to that monitoring routine. [ gps ] proceed to the designated route. not today. [ male announcer ] for patients currently well managed on warfarin, there is limited information on how xarelto® and warfarin compare in reducing the risk of stroke. xarelto® is just one pill a day taken with the evening meal. plus, with no known dietary restrictions,
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was open to the public. it stood just 40 feet and adorned about only 700 lights. today in american fashion, the tree has been super sized standing at 76 feet and covered with 45,000 lights. you may not know this, but all of this comes from humble roots. this comes on christmas eve after the stock market crashed in 29. the country was still in the midst of the great depression. rockefeller center was near completion, december 24th, 1931 was just another thursday night at work for many americans. as the story goes, that didn't stop the worker who is took it upon themselves to bring a bit of christmas cheer. what would welcome one of the city's grandest and most magnificent attractions. from humble roots to the
rockets, mariah carey's show of shows. all states. all walks of through the tree and meeting through their own eyes. one person might associate. the tree managed to transcend to bring millions together. our own team gathered to share the thoughts. his dad took him to see it. the tree at nbc was the tree. >> that means a lot to you. >> for has a homecoming feel.
>> they look out the windows and i wear a flat to work and see the massive tree. when you are a kid growing up, in utah or chicago or wherever and you see the tree, it tells us it's christmastime. that's the worst time of the year because we have all the people trying to get out of here. in the christmas spirit, we will say merry christmas. >> we talk about the dysfunction in washington and the divide, but through it all, this value and ideals as americans and as human beings. even if it's just for a fleeting moment, we turn on the lights of the christmas tree. right? that does it for the cycle. that's right after this break.
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[ female announcer ] let betty do the measuring and get a head start on delicious homemade cookies. visit bettycrockercookies.com for fun holiday ideas. betty crocker cookie mix. just pour, mix...love. . >> good afternoon. it's thursday, december 5th and sometimes you have to pull yourself up by the boot straps. >> president obama gave a speech. we see a problem and we are going to fix it. we are not repealing. >> president obama moves onward and upward. >> what do you think he wants to get out of the show.
>> he will take that opportunity to focus on the audience in front of him. >> i remember what it was like to be 27 and 28. this is a big deal. >> we will talk about the speaker. >> 150 bills sitting over there and the president stands in the way. >> we will have a divided country the rest of our lives. get used to it. we have a compromise. >> what is his message? i will ask about that tonight. fresh bounce on the healthcare.gov. they are to young invincibles. chris matthews for a town hall at american university. part of the college tour. the exclusive interview at 7:00 p.m. eastern. that interview is coming a day after the president held a youth summit a